Who’s Keeping Score?

Have you ever been through one of those seasons in life when you just can’t seem to get your head above water? Just being called “mom” likely puts you in this category!

We wear so many different hats and have so many people relying on us. Whether we are working moms, single moms or stay at home moms, we have all felt that sense of sinking at one time or another.

I have to confess, I have been going through one of those seasons for the better part of this past year.

People sometimes tell me that the life of a speaker/writer seems so glamorous. I have to laugh! The reality is that it comes with deadlines at the most inconvenient times which are inevitably accompanied by any number of complicating events.

This past year, I didn’t plan the big picture of my time very well. I have been rewriting two books, creating not one but three DVD studies, and writing not one but two new books, both of which are the culmination of years of research. And of course during all of this I’ve been trying to stay at least somewhat available to my staff so they don’t feel like, “Shaunti who?”

And of course … that is just my ministry life! At the same time I’m juggling family responsibilities, the end of one school year and the start of another, and trying to be ever-present as a mom so my kids don’t feel like, “Mom who?”

I said in the Life Ready Woman Bible study that in seasons like this, we have to make choices of what will give because we can’t do it all. And sure enough, the night came when I had a choice to make.

Every night for weeks, with Jeff’s support, I had put the kids to bed and then written until the wee hours of the morning as the day for my final writing deadline was rapidly approaching. And approach it did, right on the day of a big volleyball game for my 8th grade daughter. You see, I had made a promise to my daughter that I would be the scorekeeper at every volleyball game that occurred while I was in town.

And now it was crunch time. So even though the deadline was mere hours away and I had a huge amount of work left, I quickly had to transition from “crazed author on a book deadline” back into “mom who promised her daughter that she would be the scorekeeper for every volleyball game while she is in town.”

It would have been easy to explain my dilemma to her, and I’m sure she would have understood. She’s not the type to keep score. But what would I have traded away? I would have missed the opportunity to show her that she is my priority. I would have missed the chance to confirm that Mom keeps her promises even when it’s difficult. And, as it turned out, I would have missed the glorious excitement on my daughter’s face as her team beat their undefeated arch rival for the first time ever – with her as the lead server!

Extra time doesn’t just manifest itself because we are under the gun. Something will always have to give. Sometimes, if I’m honest, it is time with my kids or my husband. (I wish it wasn’t, but like a lot of women who run their own businesses and ministries, there are times when I do have to seize opportunities to bring in revenue to pay staff salaries.) But that night I chose to give up sleep in order to be there to keep my promise, share that moment with my daughter and still meet my deadline. I wouldn’t have wanted to miss that special moment for all the deadlines in the world!

After all, who’s keeping score? Actually … I guess I am.

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